Who we are

Here at the History of Science Museum we're home to an unrivalled collection of scientific inventions, devices, and instruments from different cultures, places, and times in human history.

Where are we?
You'll find us at the heart of historic Oxford in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built public museum building, the Old Ashmolean on Broad Street.
What are we all about?
We believe our world needs people to unite in addressing the challenges and opportunities of today.
That's why we explore with our visitors the stories, ideas, and questions that connect our human experience across time and space.
Our vision
  • Reveal Beauty
  • Highlight Ingenuity
  • Inspire Curiosity
Our mission 
  • Explore the connections between people, science, art, and belief
  • Give voice to the histories that our collections can tell
  • Share the stories of science in Oxford
Our history

Established in 1924 as the Lewis Evans Collection, the Museum opened to the public one year later in 1925.

Robert Gunther and Lewis Evans were the driving forces behind the Museum’s creation. Evans donated his scientific instrument collection and Gunther, a scientist, campaigned for their display.


Our collections


Together our diverse collection and historic building occupy a special place, both in the study of the history of science and in the development of Western culture and collecting.

Our Museum preserves the objects, instruments, writings, and materials scientists have created to tame, travel, and transform the world around them.

As a department of the University of Oxford, we present these inspiring stories of science to visitors, and make the collections available to historians for study.

We look after around 20,000 objects which cover almost all aspects of the history of science, from ancient to modern times. In particular, we are known for our collections of:
  • astrolabes
  • sundials
  • early mathematical instruments

together with scientific apparatus associated with:

  • chemistry
  • medicine
  • communications.

and our famous Einstein's Blackboard.

The Museum's unique reference library on the history of scientific instruments includes:

  • manuscripts
  • prints
  • early photographic material.

If you're curious to know more, you can:

We look forward to welcoming you.



A day in the life


Contact details and Press enquiries


Contact us

History of Science Museum
Broad Street
OX1 3AZ 

Phone: +44 (0)1865 277293
Email: info@hsm.ox.ac.uk


Museum staff and contact details

Press enquiries

Phone: +44 (0)1865 277 298
Email:   press@hsm.ox.ac.uk


Read our press releases